Family Recipe: Fruit Salad

The other day I was chatting online with a group of friends and I mentioned making fruit salad. One of my younger friends asked, “Can you send me the recipe for that?”

I’ve never really thought about writing a recipe for fruit salad, since I’ve been making it since I was a kid. It was always a staple at family dinners with my maternal grandparents. My Grandma was known to make a literal punchbowl of fruit salad for parties.

This recipe does not make a punchbowl full.  The nice thing about fruit salad is that you can put any kind of fruit into it, and if you don’t eat it all in one meal, it keeps in the fridge for a few days.

I change it up based on what comes in our CSA box each week, and based on which fruits are in season.

Grammie’s Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 Apples (any kind but red delicious, those are awful)
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 bananas (not overly ripe or they fall to mush)
  • 3 cups berries, your choice (I recommend 2/1 ratio, sliced strawberries and blueberries)
  • 1 ripe pineapple, cored and skinned. You can also use a can of pineapple tidbits in juice (juice drained off and fed to a kid) if fresh pineapple isn’t available.

Optional, but tasty when in season:

  • 1 cup fresh peaches, skin removed
  • 2 kiwis sliced, skin removed
  • 1 mango, peeled and removed from the pit/core

Note: I don’t like melon in my fruit salad. If you do, add 1-2 cups of your favorite melon (Cantaloupe or Honey Dew hold up well in a fruit salad).

Directions:

  1. Clean, Chop/slice all of your fruit (not needed for blueberries). I try to make each kind of fruit bite-sized, but a different shape. That way it makes for a nice presentation.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the fruit. If you omit the oranges, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and toss the fruit to coat. This keeps the apples from browning.
  3. Serve fruit salad cold as a side dish for any meal. If you like it spicy, serve it with Tajin on the side.
  4. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days in a covered container.

Talk Back: What are your favorite fruits to include in Fruit Salad? 

New Recipe: Banana Bread in a Cake Pan!

These bananas are perfect for making banana bread!

I’ll admit: I don’t have a loaf pan. I did, but it died. It was metal, and after 10+ weeks of weekly use… ::Sad Trombone:: I know I should buy a glass one (I have my eye on this one), but until then, I’m making do with what I’ve got.

And what I’ve got is a glass cake pan. Specifically a 9×9 glass cake pan, like this one. I looked online for some ideas about baking times and temps and reworked my usual recipe. The best part of this recipe is that the bread is moist, fluffy/airy with a good crumb.  It is not dense or heavy at all.

Banana Bread

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray 9×9 glass baking dish with spray release.
  2. In a small dish, mash up bananas, set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter/coconut oil for about 30 seconds-1 minute until light and fluffy.
  4. Add sugar, beat until combined and fluffy.
  5. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  6. Add bananas and vanilla, and blend until the wet ingredients are all incorporated.
  7. Add baking soda and Kodiak Mix. Stir to combine.
  8. Pour into the prepared 9×9 glass baking dish.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Test with toothpick in the center of the bread for doneness.

This recipe makes 1 9×9 cake pan, which is approximately 9-12 servings, depending on how big you like the pieces.

My kids like this bread toasted with either butter or cream cheese. It never lasts long.

Oat Flour Banana Bread Recipe

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The big kid LOVES banana bread, so I am always looking out for new recipes, especially those that are higher in protein or lower in added sugar.

Recently we found ourselves with an overabundance of oatmeal, so I looked online for recipes to use it up and I discovered Oat Flour. You basically grind up oatmeal in your blender or food processor. Because it doesn’t contain any natural gluten, you have to use another flour with it otherwise your bread just… falls apart. It also doesn’t rise, so you will need to add leavening (baking soda in this recipe).

I also had received 30 bananas the next day, so I knew the time had come… TO MAKE BANANA BREAD!!

After looking through several recipes, I cobbled together a recipe that incorporated what I had on hand, and had all of the appropriate chemicals via ingredients to form quick bread. If you are interested in learning about baking and cooking ratios to form new recipes, check out Ratio by Michael Ruhlman– It’s great!

Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. Oat Flour
  • 1 3/4 c. AP Flour
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. melted butter or melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar, not packed
  • 2 ripe banans, mashed up
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 T. Vanilla
  • 1/2c chopped nuts (I like pecans, but walnuts work too) OPTIONAL

Directions:

  1. Grease a loaf pan and set aside Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl mix flours, soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar until well mixed.
  4. Add bananas and continue to mix until incorporated.
  5. Add eggs one at a time. Once they are blended, add yogurt and vanilla.
  6. Combine dry ingredients into wet, and add nuts (if desired). This batter is very wet!!
  7. Pour into greased pan and bake for 45-55 minutes.
  8. Once the bread is cooled, remove from loaf pan and serve with butter or cream cheese.

Options:

  • To make the recipe Gluten-free, use gluten-free oats, and a 1 for 1 Gluten-free flour.
  • To make the recipe vegan, use coconut oil in place of butter, substitute a flax egg, and use dairy-free Greek-style yogurt.

Family Recipe: Yummy Banana Nutty Bread

IMG_0405We love bananas, but sometimes they get over ripe before we can eat them all. That usually only happens when the weather is so hot and muggy- or if I buy too many. In that case, I peel, slice and bag them in snack sized zip top bags and toss them in the freezer. They are now perfectly portioned for smoothies or baking recipes!  This week, I’m posting my favorite Banana bread recipe. It’s quick, easy, and it uses no white sugar, so it’s ideal for those watching their sugar intake.

I’ve included variations for various diets below.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Stevia or brown sugar splenda (or 1/4 c honey)
1/3 cup applesauce
4 egg whites
1/2 cup of ripe banana (about 3-4 ripe bananas)
3/4 cup almond meal or flax meal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Directions:

  1. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large mixing bowl with electric mixer until fluffy and creamy.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients until smooth.
  3. Pour batter into 1 greased loaf pan.
  4. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.
  5. Slice and serve hot or allow to cool, wrap in aluminum foil and store in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.

Variations:

  • Gluten Free variation: Substitute coconut flour or GF baking flour blend.
  • Nut Free Variation: Use Flax meal in place of Almond Meal.
  • Vegan Variation: Substitute egg whites for flax egg.